Imagine being owed $5.6 Billion Dollars. Well in 2015 this was the amount owed to 2.76 Million Australian Workers in unpaid superannuation contributions.
A bugbear of mine is non-compliance around employer superannuation payments. Too often we see examples of blatant non-compliance, but typically incorrect super payments come down to employers and payments system not talking to each other, or not understanding their superannuation obligations. Now it can be easy to dismiss this as tardiness, but if you are not receiving the correct superannuation payments at the right time, your employer is at risk of becoming non-compliant and you’re effectively being ripped off. You may feel uncomfortable raising the issue, but this is your money, and you may even save your employer the hassle of a “please explain” when the ATO comes knocking.
So…now that we know some employers don’t pay the right amount of super or even pay it at the right time, how do we make sure we are being paid correctly? A common misconception is referring to your payslip if it is on my payslip it was paid. INCORRECT. This is merely an accounting entry it’s not reflective of an actual superannuation payment. In my opinion, the only source of truth lies within your superannuation fund transaction history. Now with the advent of online systems, referring to a 6-month old superannuation statement is no longer necessary, almost all providers allow you to subscribe to their online portal and view your superannuation transactions live, exactly the same way you would look at your personal bank transactions.
Now you’ve set up an online account, how do you work out if the correct payments have been made? In the past I’ve applied a simple rule of thumb, I’ll set the date range of my account to reflect the previous 12 months (assuming you have had the account for the same period) and add my employer contribution up, they should technically reflect as a minimum, 9.5% of my annual salary. So, if I was on an annual salary of $50,000, I should see $4,750 in employer superannuation payments. One critical element to keep in mind is the date the payments are made, by law employers are only required to make payments on a quarterly basis, but there are strict specifications that need to be adhered too, including the date the accrued super payment is actually made. The ATO dictates that the payment needs to be paid to a member’s superannuation fund by the cut-off date, so it’s important for the employer to account for transactional delays when making payments.
If you feel like you haven’t been paid the correct superannuation, the first port of call should be your payroll team or department, if you’re not satisfied with this, then the ATO has a great online tool that allows you to report your employer for non-compliance. Below I’ve also included an easy to follow guidance from the ATO around super contribution payments and cut off dates. And If you need further help understanding your superannuation payments, please feel free to contact the team at Steve May Financial Services.
If you would like to discuss your superannuation, give the team at Steve May a call and start a conversation today.
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Nick Shanley, Steve May, Luke Styles and Shanley Financial Planning T/A Steve May Financial Services are Authorised Representatives / Corporate Authorised Representative of Sensibly Pty Ltd, AFSL 533923. Please refer to our website at www.stevemayfs.com.au to reference our Financial Services Guides.
Shanley Financial Planning Pty Ltd trading as Steve May Financial Services (ABN 19 612 825 180) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of (1265706) of Sensibly Pty Ltd (AFSL 533923)
Nick Shanley, Steve May and Luke Styles are Authorised Representatives of Sensibly Pty Ltd (AFSL 533923)